another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Black Ice

Two new tires, two new front wheels, four new hubcaps.

That's the cost of not figuring out how slick the road was last night.
I drove into Chicago last night to play a game of D&D ("From the Dust", for those who know). I was early and so was finding a place to grab something to eat. I got off Irving Park Road a couple of blocks and was finding my way back when I got turned wrong onto a side street. It was snowing, and all the main roads had plenty of salt and traffic to keep the road clear. This road, not so much. I was heading down the road, and the road started to bend to the left. At that point, I realized I was on ice and that while the road was bending, I wasn't going to be able to turn. Pumping the brakes a bit didn't give me any additional traction.

I hit the curb hard and went up on the parking. Fortunately, there was nothing else there, the road was leading up to an apartment complex and this was somewhat to the side of the complex and with open space/park near where I hit the curb. So, I was able to put the car in reverse, come back down off the curb, and drive off without any other property damage other than some tracks in the snow.

But my car was driving funny. I got to the side and was able to determine the problem, the right front wheel was bent and the tire sidewall pushed in a bit. The way the wheel bent it didn't really knock the tire loose, so it was holding air, but it couldn't be trusted for long. I was able to pull into a spot in a parking garage at a hospital where I could change to the spare out of the wet of the snow. I went on to my game, and afterward was able to drive home (on the tollway, though a bit slower than I normally do).

Today I took the car in to get a new wheel and two new front tires. They found that the left front wheel was also bent a bit, so I had that replaced too. The hubcaps were repoaced due to that right front one being cracked up, and they didn't have a match, but could give me four new ones cheap. So, I have a couple spare Saturn hubcaps now, and I think maybe Kalen's car needs one of them.

So, the lesson for today -- ice under light snow is nasty. Never figure that you've got traction on that light snow.

In other news, my other purchases of the day were a TI-83 calculator for Ellen, since she needs one for her Algebra class (she's working on her Bachelor's degree in Nursing now, her second Bachelor's), and I bought myself an iPod Shuffle. I really like the tiny, tiny size of the thing, and decided I'd use it for both music and podcasts while doing stuff like mowing, riding the train, at work. Since I had a Best Buy gift certificate and some cash from Christmas, that's where I decided to splurge a little. I've downloaded a few things, but I need to learn a bit more about iTunes before I can manage this properly. I can say it sounds great, though.

That's enough for now. I'll try to update a bit more often again, meaning one more update before the weekend. On the weekend I'll be at a game convention in Fort Wayne with Matt and Kalen.


  • Never a good feeling to suddenly realize there's little to no control. I'm happy for you that it didn't end more seriously, though.

    Aside from some flurries last week that were gone within an hour, we haven't had any snow down here in my part of PA this season. Yesterday and today have been the first days in a long while that felt anything close to seasonal. Nine weeks 'til spring, and we're wondering if we're going to have had a winter to speak of.

    By Blogger MJ, at 1/17/2007 7:29 AM  

  • Yikes. I'm glad the roads were pretty clear for me - CU and BN hadn't gotten the "wintry mix" Sunday night like we had at home, so once I got on the highway, it was smooth sailing. I think I would have freaked out if I lost control like that.

    By Blogger Kamie, at 1/17/2007 10:06 AM  

  • Sounds like you had fun with that...

    Glad you got around to splurging for yourself on the iPod Shuffle. Make sure to bring it this weekend.

    By Blogger Matt, at 1/17/2007 3:39 PM  

  • I was scared about where your story was going, but two tires and four hubcaps isn't much of a repair if you'd actually gotten into an accident. I've figured out how to NOT drive fast in the rain, so I haven't lost control of my car down here.

    It was pretty freaky when I was driving my younger brother's car in the winter a few years ago. To start, his tires were just about bald. I'm not sure if I hit ice or if it was just light snow under the bald tires. But I did a 360 turning onto Bilter from DuPage. Freaking scary!!!

    By Anonymous narf, at 1/18/2007 9:27 AM  

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